Moscow, Russian Federation (4E) – Four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow were closed on Wednesday for allegedly violating sanitary regulations.
One of the closed restaurants was the oldest McDonald’s outlet in Russia located on Pushkin Square. That branch opened in 1990.
Russian authorities defended the closure speculated to be politically motivated as the U.S. and the European Union imposed economic sanctions against the country for allegedly supporting separatists in Ukraine and destabilizing the neighboring country. Moscow retaliated by banning food and agricultural imports from the U.S. and E.U.
McDonald’s fast food restaurants in Russia used to strictly observe sanitary regulations, but started ignoring them recently, a practice Russian authorities will not tolerate, the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said, according to Ria Novosti.
Other McDonald’s stores in Russia are also being inspected for sanitary violations. There are about 424 outlets of the popular burger restaurant in Russia.
The accusation of sanitary violation followed last month’s warning by local authorities that McDonald’s stores are misrepresenting the nutritional value of foods served.
The company issued a statement saying it was addressing the problem and assured that it will take care of its Russian employees and continue the success of the business in Russia.